the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist
“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx
Sep 12, 2022
As soon as news leaked in May that Roe v. Wade was about to fall, volunteers rallied to collect signatures on a ballot referendum to keep abortion legal in Michigan. Close to 30,000 people stepped up to collect 753,759 signatures—more than any previous ballot initiative in state history.
Yet this popular proposal—signed by 1 out of every 7 people who voted in November 2020—almost did not make the ballot. The Board of State Canvassers, made up of 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats, makes all election decisions. This 4-member board deadlocked, keeping the proposal off the ballot. Republicans voted no, citing a lack of proper spacing between some words. This denial was appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.
A day before the deadline for printing ballots, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the proposal must be on the ballot because there was "no evidence that anyone was confused about the text" who signed the petition.
Proposal 3, called Reproductive Freedom for All, will be on the November 8 ballot. This proposed constitutional amendment establishes an individual right to decide about pregnancy, prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management and infertility treatment. Like the Roe decision, this proposal allows government regulation at the point of fetal viability.
The work that went into putting this measure on the ballot was impressive and marks a good first step. Now supporters of the measure would be wise to prepare morally and organizationally for the billionaire-funded far-right attack on this proposal that is certainly coming. Politicians, churches, and organizations on the far right will go all out to defeat this proposal.
But just imagine if the 30,000 people who helped put this proposal on the ballot each found 4 friends to join them in the fight. There could be over a million people to mobilize for what could be a next step—a “show me the money” step.
All working women, all poor women, and all families have every reason to demand that society make reproductive healthcare—AND raising families—affordable! The most important part of reproductive freedom is having the money and resources to really have a choice in this life.